Confronting the colonial structure of international migration law
Thomas Spijkerboer is professor of Migration Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and during this semester International Franqui Professor at Ghent University. In this keynote he explores the colonial origins of international migration law, referencing legal authorities in the field and featuring pertinent cases of the US Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Thomas demonstrates that these colonial origins and the concomitant racialized regulation are a full part of our current international legal migration policies. He outlines the contestation of this legal regulation by states, courts and academics from the global South. He reminds us of the fact that (post-)colonial relations not merely characterise the subject matter of international migration law, but also impact academic everyday practice. The keynote ends with some challenging reflections on how academia can deal with its ongoing colonial heritage.